If you co-exist with the rest of us mere mortals on this planet, then the words “Angry Birds” won’t be completely oblivious to you. What started as just another gaming app on the iTunes store back in 2009 soon became an unstoppable juggernaut by mid-2010, one that captured popular imagination and resulted in countless man hours spent having fun. In a tiny but significant way, Angry Birds transformed the way we interact with games, what games mean to us, and our expectations from the medium – if not as consumers consuming content, then definitely for people who create that content. It certainly propelled Rovio, a no-name Finnish game developer, into the big league. But they aren’t stopping at that.
Angry Birds has been so insanely successful for Rovio so far (over 700 million downloads and counting!) that Rovio is no longer just a game developer any more. It’s a franchise that sold over 25 million Angry Birds toys in 2011 alone, and it aims to be bigger than Walt Disney – a $74 billion enterprise! To think that all this started from a game back in 2009 is staggering, and by all estimates Rovio and Angry Birds’ potential for mind-boggling success knows no bounds right now.
It’s not just Rovio that’s basking in glory, but the entire gaming industry is gathering momentum for a while and currently witnessing a golden sunrise that’s making it a lucrative segment. For everyone associated with the gaming industry, it’s guaranteed to keep their cash registers ringing well into the future.
According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the worldwide gaming market generated a business of US $56 billion in the year 2011 alone – that’s over three lakh crore rupees! That was 2011; wait till 2015 by when the gaming industry’s estimated to make a whopping US $85 billion annually. In terms of annual revenue, gaming has long surpassed the music and print publishing industry, and I have no doubt that by 2020 it will be the no. 1 media publishing and entertainment industry in the world.
What’s driving this boom in gaming, I hear you ask? Everyone who wasn’t a gamer 10 years ago! Believe it or not, and you may even laugh at the suggestion, but that’s a fact. Of course, the stereotypical nerd who games in the basement of his parent’s house isn’t going away just yet. But the demographical shift in consumers over the past five years has well and truly outnumbered the traditional gamer. These new breed of gamers (your mom, dad, sister, grandpa, grandma, uncle, aunty, and anyone but you) is the reason why gaming is booming like it never has before. So what if they farm agricultural plots and catapult unsuspecting birds at various fortresses on their smartphone, tablet or browser screen?
Hopefully, with enough time and exposure, and leveraging the potential of the mobile market and a young populace in our country, gaming’s entering the next big level. That’s a very encouraging thought.